Lot 1131"Washington" Maiden Voyage, 1847 (May 31) Philadelphia Pa. to London, England, blue folded letter datelined "Philadelphia in Pensilvanien 25 May 1847" with blue "Philadelphia Pa., 31 May" cds and matching framed "Paid" handstamp with ms. "29" cent rating for 5¢ inland postage plus 24¢ packet fee, endorsed "Via New York by the Washington Steamer", carried by Ocean Line Washington from New York June 1st to Southampton arriving June 15th 1847, red London (6.17) cds backstamp and ms. "1/-" discriminatory packet due rating as the prepayment was ignored, salutation reads "Mr Henry Lazer. Volunteer in Captain Binder's Compagnie First Pensilvanian Regiment Washington, United States Arrmee" being a German enroute to the Mexican - American War, Very Fine, ex-Feldman.
Estimate $2,000 - 3,000.
The Ocean Line was awarded the first USPO contract for US mails under the Foreign Mails Act of 1845. Two steamships were built, the Washington and the Hermann and they operated the contact over its 10 year term between New York and Bremen with a stop at Southampton. The "Washington" inaugurated the service leaving New York June 1st 1847 arriving Southampton June 15th. It carried as a passenger, the First Assistant Postmaster General, Selah R. Hobbie. He was bound for Europe to negotiate postal treaties with Great Britain and the German States, but he was rebuffed in England.The commencement of the service led to Britain imposing a "Discriminatory Rate" on mails landed at Southampton with all US prepayment ignored and the One Shilling Packet Rate charged to the addressee. This led to the Retaliatory Rate period and subsequently (February 1849) to a postal convention between the two countries.